2nd Sep 2021

What might have been! A last ball, NEPL Premier Division defeat at Benwell Hill on Saturday, the first of the season in the longer format, & a six wicket reverse on Sunday in the semi-final of the Royal London Club Championship to an accomplished Sandiacre Town side, was not what Bulls players & supporters were hoping for.


Sat 28th August at Denton Bank.

SNCC 222 ao (49.5o) Simon Birtwisle 24, Michael Richardson 23, Chris Hewison 59, Adam Cragg 36, Sean Tindale 15: Callum Harding 4-46, Moshin Mukhtar 3-31, Max Williamson 2-44, Anthony Hunter 1-49.


Benwell Hill 226-8 (50o) Kyle Coetzer 71, Moshin Mukhtar 49, Adam Heather 30, Fin McCreath 28: Jonny Wightman 2-61, Sean Tindale 3-32, Calum Fletcher 2-41, Oli McGee 1-32.


Benwell Hill won by 2 wickets.


On a bright, sunny day, SN won the toss & chose to bat. Sol (10) succumbed lbw to Harding at 12. Birty & Richo put on 49 before Michael's mistimed sweep in Williamson's first over found mid-wicket. Birty skied Mukhtar to deep mid-off 71-3 in the 19th. Was it sticking in the wicket a bit ? 


Hewi & Adam batted nicely putting on 90 for the 4th wicket, running well, before Adam (36) was well caught & bowled by Mukhtar, left arm round, diving to his right, 160-4 in the 35th. Mukhtar then persuaded Hewi (59, 6x4 2x6 64b) to drive down the ground where McCreath took a running catch at wide long off, 163-5 in the 37th.


Rob (7) lofted to deep mid-wicket at 175, Oli (8) to extra cover, 198-7 in the 45th. Sean (15) edged behind off Harding one ball later & Jonny (8) was yorked by Harding in the 48th. It was left to Lee (10) to roll back the years with a glorious cover drive for 4 before he was caught by w/k Halliday with one ball remaining, Calum 5*. 222 all out.


Would it be enough ? A blistering start saw Coetzer hit 6 boundaries in his first 12 balls off the luckless Wightman.  The opening partnership had reached 121 in the 27th, repelling all bowling changes, when Coetzer (71, 11x4,1x6, 80b) swept McGee to deep square leg where Rob Peyton took a good running catch.


6 runs later, Mukhtar (49) was expertly stumped by Richo standing up to Wightman, 127-2 in the 30th. Adam Heather (30, 5x4) & Fin McCreath batted positively until at 182 Heather was caught by Richo off Sean. Phil Bell (4) was bowled by Cal Fletcher & Birty caught McCreath (28) at mid-wicket off Sean, 189-5 in the 44th. Phil Nicholson (6) was then caught by Richo off Wightman, 199-6 in the 46th. It was getting tense !!!


Archbold (2) swung & Jonny took the catch at third man off Calum, 202-7 at the end of the 47th. 4 off the 48th, so 206-7, 17 to win from 2 overs, Halliday & Williamson at the crease. 8 from the 49th, 9 to win, tension unbearable. Tindale, (to that point 9-2-20-3, the best bowling of the day), to Halliday: 4, dot, 1, wicket (Williamson yorked), Harding 1, last ball, Peter Halliday to face, Sean did not quite nail the yorker, so a remarkable pick-up shot hit the tennis netting just behind square leg for 6! 


An amazing finish. Only 7 points for the Bulls & Burnmoor, who won at Hetton, now have average points of 17.7 to SN 16.37, two games to go. We need some biblical rain only over Washington next week before the last game at home to Burnmoor !


Sunday 29th August:

Royal London Club Championship semi-final 2021 : SNCC v Sandiacre Town at Roseworth Terrace from 1200:  40 overs/side.


Champions in 2003 & 2014, Sandiacre, from the Derbyshire County Premier League, brought over 100 supporters & they were in good voice. SN had defeated them narrowly in 2017 en route to success at Derby in the Nat West Club T20 final.


SNCC 183-8 (40o) Sol Bell 64, Adam Cragg 58, Chris Hewison 16, Jonny Wightman 14* Rob Peyton 10: Daniel Wheeldon 3-28, Ryan McFadyean 1-41, John Jordison 3-31, Connor Marshall 0-35, Matthew Newbold 1-44


Sandiacre Town 184-4 (38.4o) James Chapman 33, Scott McNeill 60, Connor Marshall 75*: Jonny Wightman 0-37, Sean Tindale 1-46, Cal Fletcher 3-26, Lee Crozier 0-31, Oli McGee 0-25, Simon Birtwisle 0-18.


Sandiacre Town won by 6 wickets.


On an overcast day, the visitors won the toss & chose to field. A disastrous start saw Birty aiming to pull, (extra bounce on a new wicket), sky to mid-on from the second ball of Wheeldon's first over. 10 balls later Richo (1) was adjudged lbw to McFadyean, 3-2 after 2 overs.


Sol & Hewi consolidated & had taken the score to 41 in the 11th when Hewi, having driven 3 nice boundaries, edged behind off Wheeldon. Adam joined Sol & the pair shared a partnership of 82, running well against the 4 accurate seamers, Marshall's leg spin & a well placed field.


Sol (64,5x4 93b), who had batted splendidly, was then bowled by Newbold, 123-4 in the 29th. Adam & Sean moved the total to 142 when Sean was caught at mid-wicket off Jordison. Enjoying the battle Adam (58, 6x4, 1x6,71b) had started to accelerate when he cut Jordison hard only to find the ball fly to third man where McNeill took the catch. 154-6 in the 36th.


In trying to maintain the momentum, Oli (5) hit deep mid-wicket & Rob (10) hooked to long leg, both neatly caught, 172-8. It was left to Jonny to feather two boundaries past the w/k in the last over to achieve 183-8 after 40 overs. 


Left handers Chapman & McIlroy opened the Sandiacre reply. Driving nicely, Chapman took three consecutive boundaries off Sean in the 6th. In the 8th Cal found McIroy's outside edge to be caught by Richo for 9, 37-1. A little later, Chapman almost perished when Rob made a valiant attempt to take a leg side clip off Jonny well above his head at mid-wicket one handedly but, agonisingly, could not cling on.


Crozier came into the attack & McNeill settled in. In the 14th Cal, sensibly bowling over the wicket & across the left handers, again found the edge, this time of Chapman (33) & Richo took the catch. 63-2. Needham (2) was bowled by Cal in his 3rd over, 71-3 in the 18th.


The diminutive, left handed Connor Marshall joined the taller, right handed McNeill, always a dangerous combination. Marshall was busy from ball one & seemed to have time to play. 78-3 after 20 overs. Crozier, one big lbw shout turned down, & McGee wheeled away but the strike was rotated with such regularity that the batsmen seemed in control, going at a run a ball in some overs with the occasional boundary. The few false shots seemed to fall to earth, ours had been caught!


103-3 after 25, 132-3 after 30, Birty's 3 overs went for 18, 159-3 after 35. With a certain inevitability, the partnership had reached a match winning 103 & the score 174 in the 38th, when McNeill (60, 5x4, 1x6, 83b) drove Sean hard to short extra where Adam took a good catch. Marshall then finished the game in style taking 4,4,2 off the penultimate over bowled by Jonny. He finished with 75* (8x4, 72b), some player. Very good spell by Cal (18), 3-26 in his 8 overs, troubling all the batsmen, especially the left handers.


As in 2013, an excellent run to a national semi-final for the Bulls. No disgrace in being beaten by a good side on top of their game. Excellent standards observable in bowling, fielding, field placing & batting. In the quest for continuous improvement, things for us to learn from.


So Sandiacre play Bath ( Bath have Paul Muchall in their team) in the final at Wormsley on Sunday Sept 12th. This will be a repeat of the 2003 final when Sandiacre prevailed by one run over the same opponents ! Sandiacre 214-7, Bath 213 all out in 44.3 overs when it was a 45 over competition.


It is not the end, we must continue.....onward !




The winning raffle ticket numbers were 019, (beer), 013 (spirits), 064 (golf). Many thanks to Bill & the team for the catering & BBQ, to Jenny for the programmes, to Jenny & Lucy for the music & to everyone who came to support us. We are very grateful.  


Commiserations to the 2's who played the final of the NEPL 2nd teams T20 at Hetton Lyons on Sunday morning, losing on wickets lost after the scores were tied at 107. Close!   D

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